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Commerce and Industry Ministry Establishes Department to Investigate Dumping Issues in Sultanate.

Muscat, Feb 22 (ONA) ---- Khalid bin Said al-Shu'aibi, Director General of Organizations and Trade Relations at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said that a specialized department has been set up at the Ministry to take over investigating the dumping issues faced by the local industries. The reason for setting up the department is that the Ministry has realized that it is important to raise awareness of Omani industrialists of the dumping and subsidy issues in the upcoming period. In a statement to Oman News Agency (ONA), he said that the department was set up under the Directorate General of Organizations and Trade Relations after six claims were filed against the Sultanate alleging that the Sultanate is dumping the petrochemical, steel pipes and marble fields after the global financial crisis, experienced by many countries of the world. He added that the setting up of the department came after the last visit of the Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to the Sultanate and the discussions he had with the Minister of Commerce and Industry about the need to establish this department. He added that the Ministry cherished this idea a year ago due to the growing number of dumping allegations faced by the Sultanate. Al-Shu'aibi added that the department aims at combatting dumping faced by the local industries and handling the cases filed against the local industries outside the Sultanate. He also said that the department will promote the dumping and protective procedures. It will also raise public awareness of the local industry to prepare them to address any future cases. It will also provide a technical support to the local industries facing dumping issues. Besides appointing specialized human resources at the department and developing its strategy, a national action team has been set up to investigate the dumping issues. This team comprises representatives of the Royal Oman Police (ROP), represented by the Directorate General of Customs, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Ministry of Legal Affairs, the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), the Directorate General of Industry at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Directorate General of Organizations and Trade Relations. He added that coordination has been maintained with the Geneva-based World Trade Organization's agency in-charge of antidumping and protective measures and with one of the organizations in Brussels as part of a special training program. A specialized expert in the field of anti-dumping will also be hired to develop a system that includes the special measures related to investigating the cases against the Sultanate. He added that awareness campaign for the industrial sector will be initiated. The campaign will provide an explanation of the anti-dumping law and the protective measures issued by the Royal Decree. It will also explain how to apply to the Ministry in case there is a suspicious dumping case by competitive products. He also said that there is a technical secretariat at the GCC Secretariat General in Riyadh. The assistance of this agency is currently utilized due to the lack of a specialized department in the Sultanate. "The dumping issues fall into two categories. The first part is related to the subsidy provided by the Government to its products. This subsidy is banned by WTO. The second category is related to certain companies," he furthered."Dumping is selling the products at foreign markets at prices lower than those at the local market. To file a case, the exports should constitute 3% of the market share. Many cases could be combined at a single case, subject that they represent not less than 9% of the exports," he continued. "As per the WTO conventions, any state can impose up to 5% protective fees to ensure balance at the market. In some cases, states use this as a mean to justify protecting their local industries in a legal way.----Ends/MS/KH/FS

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Publication:Oman News Agency
Date:Feb 22, 2014
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